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DIY Hybrid Battery Repair Using Baking Soda

Hybrid battery "saved" by baking soda and brains!
Hybrid battery “saved” by baking soda and brains!

We’ve been talking about how expensive hybrid batteries are, and this can be a major problem for owners of hybrid vehicles, especially as they age and performance and fuel economy begin to suffer.

Worse still is if you happen to buy a hybrid car with no warranty and get the dreaded “Christmas Tree” dash (Look at all those pretty lights!), as happened to electrician “scoodidabop,” an imgur user in possession of a used Toyota Camry Hybrid. Taking it to the dealer resulted in the further dreaded “It’s going to cost you ‘an arm and a leg’ to replace the hybrid battery.”

Really, the dealer price turns out to be $4,457 for a genuine Toyota hybrid battery, plus installation, and no telling how much scoodidabop paid for diagnostic fees regarding his dash warnings “Check VSC System,” “Check Hybrid System,” and the check engine light.

Did I mention that scoodidabop was an electrician? Rather than dump four Gs on a new battery, he took his car back home, and yanked the hybrid battery himself, figuring he could just test the modules and replace them himself if necessary. Considering that personal labor is free and a new module is just $45, “That’s not a bad deal,” scoodidabop must have surely thought.

Indeed, a couple of hours later, testing all 68 modules four times, he was no closer to a solution, and then he stumbled on his “Eureka!” moment. He overlooked the corrosion on the bus bars! A little bit of vinegar, steel wool, baking soda, anticorrosive agent, and an hour later, he was back in business! Let’s see, $10 and three hours of labor or $4,457 for a new hybrid battery and a couple hours of labor?

This just goes to point out how badly the industry needs hybrid training, and why forward-thinking companies like The Hybrid Shop are going to leave the dealers in the dust.

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